Even amongst the many amazing things about the human body, the immune system has to be one of the most impressive. Without instruction, our bodies are capable of fighting off foreign organisms and keeping us healthy, even going as far as to learn how to kill a new virus and then remembering that so the virus never poses a threat again. Unfortunately, as with all things in this life, our immune systems aren’t without their flaws. Of course these flaws will be different from person to person, but they are flaws nonetheless, and a particularly unpleasant one is allergies.
What is an allergy?
An allergy is when your bodies immune system overreacts to an otherwise benign organism or substance such as dust, pollen or latex by creating antibodies. None of these things would do you any real harm by themselves, especially in the quantities that we would naturally encounter them, but there are people who are not only allergic to these things, but some that are so allergic that contact could kill them. That is a very dramatic statement to make, and whilst it is true, the actual number of people who are likely to go into anaphylactic shock and die from a latex glove is ridiculously small, but they do exist.
Don’t ignore a mild reaction
Most people discover they have an allergy to something the hard way – by exposure. At some point in their lives they will have come into contact with something and realised that their skin turning red or their eyes puffing up is not a normal thing to happen. For most people a mild rash or other kind of skin irritation is the most usual sign of an allergy, especially for latex gloves as you are encasing your hand in a substance that your body hates. Whilst this may be tolerable for many it is most definitely not advised considering that the environments where you are likely to need to wear protective gloves will contain other contaminants. Take a hospital for example, if you are allergic to latex yet regularly wear latex gloves you will probably find that the dermatological reaction will cause your hands to dry out, blister, crack and other such symptoms. This will not only make constant hand washing painful, but provide an easy entry point to your body for infections.
Obviously the simplest course of action to take is not to come into contact with latex or other allergens, so selecting an alternative glove would be advisable. Companies like Bastion Pacific stock a wide range of gloves, including hypoallergenic alternatives to latex, so there is no need for anyone with even a mild allergy to tolerate the discomfort it can cause. It is also worth pointing out that allergies can develop as well as disappear over the course of your life, so do not assume that just because you never used to be allergic to latex that you are not having an allergic reaction. Try a different glove to make sure and remember that avoiding an obvious allergen is by far the best way to tackle such problems.